Mary Kay India is Closing

india-mary-kayToday Mary Kay Cosmetics announced the closing of its operations in India. The decision appears to made on the basis of the regulatory environment and the poor performance of the market. In December, a ban was proposed on multi-level marketing in India.

This announcement comes after Mary Kay Inc. invested $20 million into growing the market between 2007 and 2012.

This closure is good for women in India. But Mary Kay is still doing well overseas. China is still growing rapidly, and sometime in 2013, it will become Mary Kay’s largest market.

Read the announcement below:

A Message from Darrell Overcash
Published 02.18.13

Dear Independent Sales Director,

After extensive thought and discussion, I wanted to make you aware that we have made the difficult decision to close Mary Kay India. The decision to close our operations in India comes after great consideration and an extensive evaluation of market performance and future potential for long-term sustainable growth.

mary-kay-indiaWe have seen the regulatory environment in India for both direct selling and cosmetics companies dramatically change and change again at an alarming and inconsistent rate, while the country’s infrastructure continues to create insurmountable obstacles.

Despite significant investments of time and money, our operation in India has not performed as we had hoped and expected. So, we have made the decision to reallocate the Company’s resources to other international markets.

We are aware that this decision will be disappointing and painful for our employees and their families, the independent sales force and to our customers in India. Every day we are in business, we have to make tough decisions based on the long-term health of our Company and what’s best for you and the more than 2.5 million independent beauty consultants in the more than 35 markets where we operate around the world.

It’s important for you to know that we have no plans to close other markets. In fact, the Company plans and expects to continue growing internationally and we continue to grow here in the United States. Mary Kay is entering 2013 with tremendous momentum, having set Company sales records globally the last three years with November 2012 as the highest sales month in Company history.

Rest assured the Company’s priority remains the same — to ensure that the Mary Kay opportunity makes a positive difference in women’s lives, helping them reach their full potential. We plan on continuing that mission globally, with your help.

mary-kay-india-seminarIf you have any questions, please call your Sales Development Director.


Darrell Overcash
President, Mary Kay U.S.


  1. Pinkiu

    This is a good thing in the end for the women of India. They just don’t know yet how much less debt they will have. I just couldn’t imagine that in a place where poverty is so rampant, that MK thought, “India, yes that’s a country where many women have disposable income.”

        1. TRACY

          Yes, Darrell mentioned regulations and I mentioned the potential MLM ban. Thankful says he swept over the “real” reason… so I’m wondering if she knows of some reason other than the regulations and the poor performance that Darrell mentioned.

    1. imewise

      It does appear that Darrell Heavily glossed over the mlm issues and made it seem like it was a company decision to stop due to not turning a profit. (him mentioning the money invested is a deterrent) I see exactly what you mean thankful. I don’t think anyone who is fogged will read anything about regulations or potential mlm bans out of that letter.

  2. Scrib

    Let the reader understand that when Darrell Overcash says, “…November 2012 as the highest sales month in Company history” he means that November 2012 was the highest ORDERING month in company history. Mary Kay does NOT track retail sales.

    A common retort from consultants is “Consultants would NOT order more makeup if they’re not selling what they already have!!” I disagree, and we can thank Mary Kay’s pay-to-play quotas for that one. Makeup ordering quotas are required for a number of things in MK, to include the “privilege” of making (and keeping) directorship. Copious ordering and recruiting (and getting new recruits to order) is what keeps the Mary Kay boat afloat, NOT actually selling.

    Let’s pretend you’re a MK director. As a director, you and your team are required to order a certain amount of makeup each month or else YOU will get demoted, and getting that position back is NOT an easy feat, as it involves recruiting no less than 24 bodies and convincing them that what you do is the greatest job on the planet. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard enough time convincing my cat not to hork up a hairball on the foyer rug. But I digress.

    Let’s say at the end of this month, you tally things up and realize you’re $600 short of your makeup quota. What do you do? Your higher-ups are breathing down your neck, because if you don’t make your quota, they take the hit, too. You lose rank, someone above you will, too. You’re going to have to save your skin (if you want to keep your position and keep your “bosses” happy, that is) and make up the difference yourself.

    So out comes the credit card, “click” goes the “Order” button, and whammo, there’s $600 worth of makeup on your shelf that you didn’t need but had to order lest you fall from grace. Even sadder is that your shelves are still pretty full from the last time you had to do this.

    This is not a far-flung practice, either, my friends. Every former MK consultant and director I have spoken with has admitted to falling into the ordering trap on some level, and there are plenty of women here at PT who can attest to this. What I want to know is why MK Corporate, who KNOWS these practices are going on and could easily change their quotas to reflect actual retail sales (and thus, help its recruits avoid the ordering trap) fails to do so.

    Quite frankly, it’s like Mary Kay knows there’s a mass murderer lurking behind the dumpster, but they hand you a loaded Hefty bag and send you out there with a smile anyway.

    How very go-give of them.

    1. Briansmama

      “What I want to know is why MK Corporate, who KNOWS these practices are going on and could easily change their quotas to reflect actual retail sales (and thus, help its recruits avoid the ordering trap) fails to do so. ”

      Because the amount of product MK corporate sells would be so dramatically much lower.

      Again reinforcing the fact that the consultant is the real customer.

          1. TRACY

            No Pat, only a very EDUCATED person would with and pray for something like this. Billions of dollars are swindled out of consultants each year. If MK crashes and burns, that financial devastation stops. Please learn the truth about MLM.

  3. raisinberry

    It’s sad that the Indian Government recognizes MLM as a “scheme” and “ponzi” and calls it so, while the US Government apparently hasn’t made the connection.

    It might be all that financial enlightenment that the Direct Selling Association provides the United States Congress.

  4. pinki

    I suffer a great deal from this decision…… I still cant stop crying because my hopes and dreams are crushed because of this and have to be strong for my unit members too… still find it hard to believe that MK is letting us down… and let me tell you, despite what u all said, i benefitted a great deal becos of mary kay

      1. Pat

        Less we forget how many donations from MK have gone to cancer research and domestic violence for both women and men. MK is not a predator The gift of working part time to be able to stay at home with your children. Something is very wrong with the thinking of this world to condemn a company that for 50 years has worked to set Women free …to make a life for herself

        1. TRACY

          Sorry Pat, but the financial damage MK has caused is far greater than any donations they have made. Billions of dollars each year! Did you know that 99% of people lose money in MLM? That’s not “making money” at all… much less part-time or at home with the kids.

          Yes, Mary Kay is a predator. They’ve just done a fabulous job of making themselves look like a company that helps women.

        2. NeverWasPink

          Pat, it is very naive to assume a large corporation like that donates money, etc, from “the good of its heart”.. there are other factors at play such as tax implications to that corporation, political alignments, and simple Public Relations and Marketing.

          A company that recruits women, attracting women yearning for recognition and acceptance? Yep, supporting domestic violence as a cause seems pretty damn bang-on. You can’t buy PR that good!

        3. Scrib

          Imagine an individual who opened soup kitchens to feed the poor, lobbied for dates on milk bottles so children wouldn’t get sick, had tremendous political sway, and was referred to as a “modern-day Robin Hood.”

          Now imagine the fact that the individual was AL CAPONE. And we all know what a good, just, and upright moral fellow HE was.

          Considering how MK is set up and how many women they’ve harmed (and continue to harm), the fact that Mary Kay donates to charities is HOLLOW and means NOTHING, just like their claim that God is first in their company.

    1. imewise

      You benefitted from mary kay? As a person who was a director and in for a long time I will say that mk is a master of the illusion of “personal growth” , “friendship connections” “inner strength” “skill building” due to the emotional abuse of the structure. But what we all know to be true is that there is no financial benefit. The ones with the big checks have years and years of loss on their taxes hours and years of time with maybe a few thousand profit at best. Look at it honestly .. with your tax returns and the friendships you have lost and you will see the true price you pay in mk for the “benefits”

    2. Scrib

      Pinki, your hopes and dreams are NOT crushed by any stretch. Your hopes and dreams are NOT directly linked to Mary Kay, and they are not one the same. So just because Mary Kay quits India does not mean your life is over and done. Not by any stretch.

      Countless women around the world have fulfilled their dreams without Mary Kay’s help and you’re no exception, so give yourself some credit, woman! 🙂

  5. Neha

    I so agree MK in the long run can bring a lot of grief to women. They keep buying what they do not need. Women in India should just return their inventory instead of participating in their 60% off sale which comes with I agree that I can’t return my items back to MK any longer. Mary Kay does really play on the emotional side of women. You slog a lot and just earn peanuts in the end. All MLM businesses are like that and everyone should stay away from them.

  6. Eyes are opened

    Directors are NOTHING but, Mary Kay’s PIMPS! Their title are MEANINGLESS and USELESS. Directors are their monthly money PIMP machine. There’s useless titles put in place to pour money into monthly. Think about this, from the day you join be a STAR Consultant, be a Sr. Consultant, be a Star recruiter, be a Team Leader, Go for the FREE car,….NOT!!!! be a D.I.Q., be a Director, be a Sr. Director, be a Ex. Director, Be a NIQ, etc. constantly pouring money in a bottomless pit. Only Mary Kay, Incorp. PROFITS.
    Seminar, Career Conference, Leadership Conference….ALL ARE LAUGHABLE!!!!!!!! Wake up ladies….STOP BEING THEIR VICTIMS!

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